Sat, Oct 15, 2016

Art & Auctions
Sotheby’s names MD for India operation

Sotheby’s has appointed Gaurav Bhatia as Managing Director of Sotheby's India.

The appointment consolidates its presence in India demonstrates the Sotheby’s commitment to providing a greater level of service to its Indian clients and to further develop its calendar of events and activities in the country.

Bhatia comments: “I’m delighted to be joining Sotheby’s dynamic and highly experienced team at such an exciting moment for the art market in India. Sotheby’s was the first international auction house to hold a sale in India and continues to build on this legacy - evident most recently through the opening of a Mumbai office alongside an ever expanding calendar of events. I look forward to working with our international team to further develop the scope and scale of Sotheby's business both inside and outside of India. It is a privilege for me to taking a leading role in India with the oldest premier auction house in the world.”

Edward Gibbs, Sotheby’s Chairman for India, said: “Sotheby’s has been active in India for almost three decades working with the leading collectors in the country and staging regular events in New Delhi and Mumbai, and we are thrilled that Gaurav has joined us at this exciting stage in our expansion here. The art scene in India has never been more vibrant and at Sotheby’s we are engaging with more people in India than ever before, particularly through our expanded calendar of events, ranging from exhibitions, talks and educational programme. Gaurav brings a wealth of experience – not to mention flair and enthusiasm - to the role of Managing Director of Sotheby’s India, wonderfully complementing our existing international team of art experts.”

Bhatia will be based at Sotheby’s Mumbai and will work with the company’s international team of experts to serve the growing number of new as well as existing collectors in India. Gaurav comes from a strong luxury background, most recently at the helm of marketing for Moët Hennessy India, part of the world's leading marketing conglomerate LVMH. He has seventeen years of integrated marketing and communications experience and has worked in the United States and India. He began his career on Madison Avenue in 1999 with Young & Rubicam Advertising and worked on brands such as Sony, Kraft, AT&T and Heinz. 

Following Sotheby’s office opening at The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai in September 2015, the company has increased the scale and scope of its activities in the country. In recent years, collectors and buyers based in India have become increasingly active in Sotheby’s international auctions across a broad spectrum of collecting categories - from Contemporary and Impressionist Art to Jewellery and Old Masters, as well as Indian and South Asian art. 

The value of purchases by Indian clients in Sotheby’s global sales has more than doubled in the last four years, with the number of participants in these sales up 45 per cent for the same period of time. Sotheby’s digital advances have gained significant traction with our Indian clients, with a dramatic increase in the number of online bidders and a 12-fold increase in value spent online by Indian clients over the last five years.

Gaurav Bhatia commenced his role as the pre-sale exhibition for the forthcoming auction of Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art opened in London on October 13, prior to the sale itself on October 18. 

Highlights from the auction were recently exhibited in Mumbai at The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, along with exhibition tours and talks and a two-day educational programme run by Sotheby’s Institute on both international and Indian art. The forthcoming sale includes a truly impressive range of paintings and sculpture by Modern masters, from storied collections with impressive provenances. Leading the sale is a luminescent and meditative Vasudeo Gaitonde painting from 1973, which displays the artist’s distinctive horizontal graduating bands of colour. 

This auction will be followed on October 19 by the sale of the exceptional Khosrovani-Diba Collection, a prestigious collection assembled over four decades with an eye for quality, rarity and historical importance which comprises predominantly Indian miniatures by Mughal masters as well as fine paintings and works of art of the Rajasthani, Pahari and Company schools. 

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